Transportation Constitutional Law

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Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S. – the United States’ theory of land ownership derailed

In Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., the United States Supreme Court held that abandoned railway rights-of-way that had been granted to railroad companies under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 left underlying...more

First in Flight, Tops in Tech, Ascendant in UAS: Drones and North Carolina

The next time you go for a long hike in a national forest with no cell phone service, you might want to take a drone with you so that you can send for help when you break your leg, dehydrate, and need help. ...more

Current Developments in Eminent Domain and Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction (Under Construction - March 2014)

On February 19, 2014, a Nebraska state district court judge invalidated a portion of a Nebraska law that had, until the decision, permitted an alternate, streamlined method of obtaining eminent domain authority for the...more

Nebraska Court Stalls Keystone XL Pipeline, Declares Governor’s Approval Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, a Nebraska trial court struck down a state law allowing Governor Dave Heineman’s to approve the proposed route for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline. The decision comes just weeks after the State...more

Court Sides With Federal Government Over Santa Monica Airport

As we reported last month, the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration had filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the City of Santa Monica in federal court seeking to confirm its alleged right...more

Supreme Court Reiterates that New York Times Actual Malice Standard Requires Materially False Statements

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a $1.2 million Colorado defamation verdict in the case of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper—a notable decision for a court that rarely accepts libel...more

Preparing for NTSB Investigative Interviews

Those who face investigative interviews before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) should be fully aware of the applicable rules and regulations. Key topics relating to NTSB investigative interviews include...more

New York’s Highest Court Allows Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax To Stand

It appears the legal battle to invalidate the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT) is finally over. On January 14, the New York Court of Appeals declined to review last year’s appellate court decision...more

Is Your Property Next? California Authorizes Condemnation of Fresno County Property for High Speed Rail Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) first request to seize a parcel in Fresno County through eminent domain has been approved by the State Public Works Board (the “SPWB”), the state agency that...more

InterConnect FLASH! No. 35 - Focusing on Solutions Rather than the Problem

As we flip the page on the calendar to close out the year, the title of the recent editorial in the Arkansas Trucking Report, “Good Things Come to Those Who Change,” really hit home. The editorial focused on the idea of...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 28, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Greenhouse Gas Dispute Dismissed Over Lack of Standing to Sue - CourtHouse News - Oct 17: Environmental groups lack standing to challenge the Washington state Ecology Department's...more

Caltrans to Finally Sell Those Homes it Purchased 50+ Years Ago for the 710 Freeway

More than 50 years ago, Caltrans purchased roughly 500 homes under threat of eminent domain within the planned right-of-way for the anticipated construction of the I-710 freeway (linking Monterey Park to Pasadena). That...more

The City of Hayward Ready for an Eminent Domain Battle, Among Others...

In July, the City of Hayward passed several resolutions of necessity to acquire property for its Interstate 880 / State Route 92 Reliever Route Project. The Project will extend Whitesell Street to provide access to State...more

PennDOT to Increase Number of Pennsylvania Bridges with Weight Restrictions [Video]

This past June, Pennsylvania's state legislature failed to enact transportation funding legislation that would have addressed the structurally-deficient condition of many Pennsylvania bridges. As a result of this absence of...more

Property Owners May Not Recover Precondemnation Damages for Decline in Property Values - Appellate Court Rules That Property...

In a ruling that benefits public agencies, a state appellate court yesterday overturned a finding of precondemnation liability against the California Department of Transportation. The court held that a causal relationship...more

Eleventh Circuit Rules Alabama’s Sales Tax on Railroads Violates 4R Act; What’s Next?

In the latest decision in the ongoing saga between CSX and the Alabama Department of Revenue (“ADOR”), the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Alabama’s imposition of sales tax on diesel fuel purchases by...more

Environmental Law Alert - June 2013: Environmental Cases Decided by the Supreme Court During its Recent Term

Although the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and gay marriage earned most of the attention during the 2012-2013 term, a number of significant decisions with regard to...more

ATSA Immunity: Supreme Court Grants Cert to Decide Bounds for Applying Immunity Under the Aviation Transportation Security Act

The Supreme Court granted certiorari yesterday to decide whether a court can deny immunity under the Aviation Transportation Security Act (ATSA) in a defamation case without first deciding whether an airline’s report to the...more

Virginia Court Declares PPP Toll Financing Arrangement Unconstitutional

In many ways, the state of Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), which allows new, innovative methods of financing from private sources to supplement state funding and public debt financing, has been a model...more

Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States

Brief Amicus Curiae of Owners' Counsel of America in Support of Petitioners

This is the brief of Owners' Counsel of America supporting the petitioners in Brandt v. United States. That case involves an abandoned rail line in Wyoming, but this case has nationwide implications. The issue before the...more

TABOR FOUNDATION v. COLORADO BRIDGE ENTERPRISE, et al.

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Defendants do not dispute that the bridge safety surcharge is a mandatory charge, assessed against TABOR Foundation members without regard to any benefits actually conferred. Nor do Defendants raise any material dispute as to...more

TABOR FOUNDATION v. COLORADO BRIDGE ENTERPRISE, et al.

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The Colorado Bridge Enterprise is not a TABOR-exempt business. Colo. Const. art. X, § 20(2)(d). The CBE does not qualify as a TABOR-exempt enterprise because it does not function as self-supporting business and because in...more

Interesting Valuation Dispute in Caltrans Eminent Domain Battle

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the owner of Silveira Ranch are involved in an interesting valuation dispute stemming from Caltrans' acquisition of part of the ranchland needed for Highway 101...more

Eminent Domain to Be Used for I-80 and I-680 Interchange

California continues to move forward with more infrastructure improvement projects. According to an article in the Daily Republic, Agency starts eminent domain proceedings for I-80/680 project, the Solano Transportation...more

Spirit Airlines v. U.S. Dep’t of Transportation

Brief Of Amici Curiae CATO Institute And The National Federation Of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center In Support...

It is axiomatic that the freedom of speech is vitally important to our democratic society and that being able to criticize the government is at the core of this freedom. Yet government officials are constantly inventing new...more

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